Linux in the news
All in one big page
See also: last week's Linux in the news page.
Even by latter-day standards, the press coverage of Linux was heavy this
last week. We'll start off, as usual, with this week's recommended
- There is
a brief piece in InfoBeads which claims that corporate adoption
of Linux is miniscule thus far. They have a couple of bar graphs
(comparing Linux to all other Unix systems combined) which are said
to demonstrate this point. "...despite the giddy enthusiasm for
Linux among the developer community, the reaction in the business
camp has been considerably cooler." (Found in
Red Herring article on free software that we mentioned last week is
now available online. "...we've come to see open-source
development as only the next in a series of incremental steps
toward true open-standards computing. It's a trend being propelled
by the success of the Internet, which itself grew out of a vibrant
open-source tradition. And it's contributing to a business
environment in which services and other extras are increasingly
more valuable than software code."
See also the side articles on
Microsoft (halloween memos),
MIS buyers, and
- Nicholas Petreley has put out
a lengthy editorial on LinuxWorld; it deals with the question of
whether Red Hat will ever become the Microsoft of Linux. He thinks
not, and argues the point well. "The fact that Red Hat is the
dominant supplier of Linux today is a tribute to its added value
and its ability to market its brand. But that by no means gives Red
Hat the insurance it will remain in a dominant position. Slackware
used to be synonymous with Linux. Red Hat moved in and took
Slackware's place. If Red Hat makes enough mistakes, someone else
will fill the gap left by Red Hat."
- Sm@rt Reseller
compares three Linux distributions and NT. They liked Linux better, and
came to some interesting conclusions: "According to ZDLabs'
results... each of the commercial Linux releases ate NT's lunch.
Our tests also revealed that Apache for OpenLinux is superior to
Apache for Red Hat and SuSE. Moreover, Samba for Red Hat scales
better than its counterparts." (Found in
the chart comparing Windows file serving performance; Linux with
Samba is the clear winner over the alternatives.
- PC Week has
an interview with Linus Torvalds. "I'm comfortable with the
'Microsoft killer' idea. It's kind of fun to see how people
position it, because that wasn't the reason and still isn't the
reason I developed Linux. I think Microsoft has been doing a really
bad job on their OS, and obviously it's an interesting dynamic to
As might be expected, there was much coverage of the various announcements
by Compaq, Dell, HP, and SGI. Here's a selection:
VA Research was the subject of a fair amount of press attention this week
Other corporate Linux coverage included:
- This (short)
support-oriented article in ComputerWorld
claims that VA Research is about to launch a support
program of their own.
- This San Francisco Chronicle article is a lengthy piece about VA
Research. "As Linux continues to pick up steam, VA Research no doubt
will face increasing competition from other computer-makers eager to cash
in by putting Linux on their systems. But Augustin feels that his company
can more than hold its own." (Thanks to Mike Wittman).
- InfoWorld also ran a brief article about VA Research and their new management team.
A couple of articles about the "Open Source '99" conference held in London
- The Industry Standard ran an articleon the server market, with lots of charts showing market share and such
from the latest IDC reports.
- AsiaBizTech has
a lengthy article on the increasing adoption of Linux by Japanese
companies. "A Shimizu staffer responsible for installation said
the reason why Linux was chosen is the stability of the operating
system, its robustness without needing a high level of hardware
performance and inexpensive cost of coupled hardware and
- Network World Fusion
talks about Linux with Sun's John McFarlane. "The movement back
toward open systems is superb for Sun. It's a revitalization of
open systems, a revitalization of Unix. People have come to the
conclusion that NT just may not make it." (NW Fusion is a
- This ComputerWorld article
talks about support options. "[Canadian National
Railroad] uses Linux on about 75% of its Web servers and has needed
- VAR Business has
an article about Red Hat's new VAR programs. "There are also
high-end, yearly service packages that cost up to $60,000 a
- This article in EE Times talks about the use of Linux in the EDA
world. "Until the major PC-based workstation suppliers are
willing to support a single, standard version of Linux, it does not
make sense for an EDA vendor to embrace the OS. It is prohibitively
expensive to take the risk of support, particularly when we factor
in the limited budget that most Linux proponents seem to have."
The idea that being able to get Linux from more than one vendor is
a strength, not a weakness, has yet to get through to a lot of
people. (The article as a whole is more positive than this quote
the release of Sun's Jini, comparing it to Linux and talking about
Sun's licensing. "'Reaction to it in the open source community
has been a loud pthfthfthtfht! and rightly so,' [Eric] Raymond
said. 'It betrays an utter failure to understand either the
community or the dynamics of open source development.'"
- ZDNet UK ran
an article about the
Empeg MP3 player for cars
(which runs Linux). "Empeg hopes to avoid the wrath of the
music industry which is still moaning about Diamond's Rio: the
empeg-car's software has been designed to prevent copying onto
other media and the company states clearly on its home page that
the unit is 'a player and not a mechanism to support music
- Salon Magazine has
a brief article about Loki Entertainment Software (scroll down a
page). "The inability to play state-of-the-art games under
Linux has long plagued Linux-lovers desperate to completely turn
their backs on Microsoft."
- Linux hits Microsoft where it hurts claims News.com in a purely
price-oriented article. "Compare the costs of a file and print
server for a 25-person group using Linux or NT: NT Server has a
street price of $809, including a license for 5 clients. Two more
10-client packs, at $1,129 apiece, brings the total to $3,067. A
copy of Linux from Red Hat--one of several companies that offer
Linux support--costs $49.95, and the cost doesn't go up if clients
have to use the server. Or, for that matter, if you want to install
the same copy of Linux on another server, or five other servers, or
50 other servers."
There were a few articles on the 2.2 kernel release:
Folks looking for introductory pieces may want to check out some of the
- PC Week ran
this article on how companies are reacting to the 2.2 kernel
release. "The new multiprocessor support and advanced caching
features in Linux 2.2.0, coupled with the timing of the new kernel,
released last week, seem to have given apprehensive mainstream
system vendors and many enterprise users the excuse they need to
- PC Week also ran a mostly positive, not entirely clueful
review of the 2.2 kernel. "Look out, Microsoft: The new Linux
2.2.0 kernel adds enterprise-critical SMP capabilities to the
operating system's proven reliability, flexibility and irresistible
price, giving users weary of Windows 2000 delays and shortcomings
strong reasons to seriously investigate the platform."
- "The community developing for Linux moves at a snail's pace"
adds this short, critical piece.
- More hardware support fuels Linux momentum is a general article
about the 2.2 kernel, HP, Dell, Compaq, etc. "Like the
Energizer bunny, the little penguin that symbolizes Linux keeps on
an article in the UK-based ComputingNet about the 2.2 kernel
release. "This is the release that many industry analysts
believe will launch Linux as a viable commercial server operating
system." (Thanks to Dave Killick).
- Multimédium has run
an article (in French) that ranges over the 2.2 release, HP, SGI,
and more. They also ran
AFUL's French press release about the 2.2 kernel. (Babelfish links:
the article and
the press release). (Found in
- Small town press: The Boulder Weekly
covers the Linux mini-expo held by the
Boulder, CO, LUG last
December. The bulk of the article is standard introductory fare.
- More small town press: The Newtown Bee (Connecticut, U.S.) ran
this introductory article a little while back. "The ground
ground shakes. A soft rumble is heard two valleys over. The noise,
although faint, steadily increases. An army is on the move. Linus
Torvalds, a 20s something Finn, leads a rag-tag determined band of
mad-as-hell unpaid volunteers. They are on the march" (Thanks
to Robert Brand).
- The Age inaugurates its new
"Openline" column, a weekly segment on free software. The initial column
is predictably introductory, and well done. "In the near
future, auditors may require companies to disclose their degree of
open source exposure before a friendly merger. This may greatly
reduce the cost to integrate systems."
The Age also ran
this introductory column on free software in general.
"It has even been
suggested that open source could have evaded the Y2K issue by
encouraging deeper scrutiny and may yet be able to mitigate it in
installations where it is a problem. The Millennium Bug may even
further drive open source efforts as desperate enterprises turn to
it in panic."
- There is
an introductory article in the Saint Petersberg Times. It's quite
positive, though the author pushes the "hard to install" theme a
bit hard. "...if you work in an office and see your system
administrator walk down the hall with a smug,
my-servers-never-crash look on his face, there could be a reason
for it. It could be called Linux." (Thanks to Douglas
And here's a set of miscellaneous, hard to classify articles.
- Golgotha Forever! Salon Magazine has written about the effort to
resurrect Crack Dot Com's "Golgotha" game, which was released in
source form to the net after the company went broke. "Crack dot
Com's deal with Red Hat called for the development of a Linux
version of Golgotha; producing portable code contributed to the
delays that plagued Golgotha and thus to the demise of Crack dot
Com. But now the Golgotha programmers are benefiting from the
project's cross-platform approach."
- The Windows Refund story has gotten as far as Malaysia, with
this article in The Star. "WHAT if every restaurant served you a
Pepsi with every single meal, even if you didn't order it? And what
if you have to pay for that Pepsi even if you don't drink it?"
(Thanks to Kenny Lim).
- Ars Technica ("The PC enthusiast's resource") has put together
an article about the "arcane" Linux command line interface, and
why it exists. "...what often makes Windows and the MacOS seem
so easy is something that users often take for granted: they come
- LinuxWorld ran
this editorial by Bob Young on why Linux will not split apart like
Unix did. Somehow he manages to say that Linux will stay unsplit
because all of the distributions will grab the good stuff, while
saying that the distributions will remain different because people
like choice. (Found in
- FrankenLinuxis the title of a ZDTV segment on how to put a system together from
old parts. "Turn that crusty old machine into a killer Linux
box-- you don't even need a blowtorch."
- Robin Miller has put up
this Andover News Network column about his troubles with cable modem
access from @Home, which include incompatiblities with his Linux
system. The article is mostly an ISP rant, but his frustrations
are certainly shared by a number of Linux users.
- Salon Magazine has
an article about the rewards of getting code into the Linux
kernel. "The roster of contributors to the Linux kernel has
become a kind of pantheon of respect -- not unlike the academies in
various intellectual fields. Linux software is well-built, in part,
because a team of dedicated programmers tests new code and guards
the kernel with a fair degree of pride." (Found in
February 4, 1999